Seitan has been the cornerstone of Plant Based Diets for some time now. It’s made from the Gluten (protein) of wheat, which is responsible for it’s meat like texture – and therein lies it’s success. Contrary to popular belief, you can prepare Seitan in less than 5 minutes with less than 5 common and easy to find ingredients. Disclaimer: If you are Gluten Intolerant or have Coeliac Disease, you should not cook this recipe as it could be harmful to your health. It contains GLUTEN.
First and foremost, you’ll need a good quality Vital Wheat Gluten Flour. Click on the following link for what I consider to be the best value and highest quality flour – Wholefood Earth – Vital Wheat Gluten Flour – Vegan – GMO Free
The next important factor is how you cook your Seitan. It can be baked, boiled or steamed; all of which produce differences in flavour and texture. For the purpose of this recipe, we will be boiling as most will have access to a Pot and a Hob.
Lastly and most importantly, the seasonings and flavours you add will determine what kind of meat you will be trying to simulate and ultimately, what kind of flavour the Seitan will have. In my experience I’ve found it’s best to rely on adding the flavour after you’ve cooked the Seitan. That’s not to say that strong flavours like liquid smoke won’t play a large part in how your Seitan turns out. So with all that in mind, lets get started on what you will need to make the easiest 5 minute Seitan:
- 300g Vital Wheat Gluten
- Salt and Pepper
- 150ml Soy Sauce (or your favourite liquid flavour)
Combine the wheat gluten, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Don’t go crazy with the seasonings as it’s only for a simple base flavour. Add 50ml of soy sauce to 250ml of warm water. Add half of this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir. A lump of dough will form immediately so work quick and add enough water/soy mix to fully combine all the dry mix into one lump of seitan.
Next, transfer this mix to your work surface, lightly dusted with flour and knead the dough – don’t fold it as the dough won’t stick at this stage. Work it with your knuckles and finger tips for around 5 minutes. This process creates the meaty strands and fully ensures any dry mix becomes wet and mixes fully. Once kneaded, set aside for 5 minutes and prepare a pot of boiling water with the remainder of the soy sauce.
Once your seitan has “rested” for 5 minutes, cut it into 8-10 smaller pieces and place them in the boiling water/soy mix. Allow to boil for 5 minutes and then cover and simmer for 40 minutes. This water can boil over so stay nearby just in case. The seitan pieces will float so be sure to keep them moist and make sure every piece gets an even amount of time in the water.
After 45 minutes, drain the water and place the Seitan pieces on a cooling rack. It can be frozen for 3-4 months or eaten straight away.
That’s it. It really is that easy. You can mix things up by oven baking the seitan in a small bath of water or steaming it if you have access to a steamer. The sky’s the limit with Seitan. Let me know what you think of this versatile plant based protein power house.